Bhayandar: Even though the state has been battling the flood, the general body meeting of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) witnessed unruly scenes on Wednesday over the holding of Mayor Marathon.
The Congress-led Opposition kept on demanding the cancellation of the publicised event and instead spend the funds on flood relief, while the unfazed BJP rulers remained adamant, triggering a war of words between members of both parties.
Shouting slogans against the insensitivity of the BJP-led ruling governance, some Congress members rushed to the well of the house and waved black banners, condemning the event, which according to them, was nothing but a sinister ploy to extract political mileage ahead of the assembly election.
However, the BJP defended it and claimed the preparation was in the final stages and it was impossible to cancel the event that is expected to be attended by 9,000 runners.
Intervening to diffuse the situation, Municipal Commissioner Balaji Khatgaokar said, “apart from myself pledging a one-month salary, class I/ II officers will donate 15-day and class II/IV employees will donate 5-day salary, thus raising Rs1.25 crore for the flood relief.”
Staring at a financial mess, MBMC has already drawn flak for the way it planned the Mayor Marathon on August 18.
After wiping out a major portion of its cash reserves on the Mayor’s Trophy, an extravagant Rs65 lakh spending plan has been chalked out for the marathon by holding out the begging bowl in front of private establishments, seeking sponsorships and donations.
By SURESH GOLANI